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Voices for Biodiversity

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An online magazine connecting humans with the natural world to help all species survive and thrive together. Voices for Biodiversity shares the stories of eco-reporters from around the world, using the ancient human art of storytelling to connect people with each other, other species, and the natural world. Our goal is to connect the human animal with the global ecosystem.

Improving the Sustainability of Thru-Hiking

Though I felt immensely connected to nature on my Appalachian Trail (AT) thru-hike (an end-to-end hike of a long-distance trail within one season), I was disappointed by how environmentally degrading backpacking can be. I found countless coolers and campsites full of trash, and eating individually wrapped packets of ramen and Pop-Tarts generated an uncomfortable amount…

Two Days at the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Day 1 The Reserve The Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) encompasses over 6,000 acres in coastal Alabama, opening a…

A National Geographic Explorer Seeks Blue Tang

When popular movies come out, especially those made by Disney, most people extol the brilliant animation, the clever storylines, the box office blowouts. However, conservationists sometimes ask another question: How will this film affect the environment? When Finding Nemo and Finding Dory emerged as instant Pixar classics, Shannon Switzer Swanson and her team — recipients…

An Unlikely Renaissance for Appalachian Elk

The sun is setting as our van crests a ridge and drops into an open, savanna-like plain pockmarked by clusters of grasses and shrubs. A group of bull elk surrounds us, with cows and younger elk watching from the protection of nearby woods. The bulls are in the rut, and they don’t seem to care…

Two Days at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Day 1 The Reserve The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) was designated in 1984 and encompasses 1,600 acres of coastal…

The Wild Space of the Skyrian Horse

I sleep on the sun-warmed roof of  the house. As I wake periodically through the night, gently and instinctively awoken by rustling, I notice the moon’s progress across the sky. For the first time I am fully aware of how the night sky changes overhead, the simple revelation of something I already know: the planet…

Creating Music from Data: Sonification of Hubbard Brook

In today’s world, science and art don’t usually mix. For many years we operated under a now-defunct left brain/right brain dichotomy that fostered the presumption that people were good at either math and science or the arts, but not both. In secondary education, funding for arts classes often finds itself directly threatened by the need…

Large Wildlife and the Global Carbon Cycle: Studies at the Mpala Research Center

At first glance, the relationship between large, charismatic wildlife species and comparatively invisible carbon compounds is not abundantly clear.  In terms of an ecosystem’s carbon dynamics, it’s more intuitive that soil microorganisms do a lot of the work by breaking down carbon compounds and respiring carbon dioxide; also intuitive is that plants draw carbon back…

Banding Florida’s Snowy Plovers

At first, it was almost impossible to see the Snowy Plovers as they ran along the waves ahead of me. I was walking along the surf on Okaloosa Island, part of the Emerald Coast on Florida’s Panhandle. With their pale tan and white plumage, the birds seemed to melt into the sugar-white sand beach. The…

Becoming Naturalists at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center

At the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center in East Freeport, Florida, children are learning about nature by experiencing it firsthand. Developed by Walton County conservationist M.C. Davis in 2009, the Center sits on the 50,000-acre Nokuse Plantation. Paul Arthur, president of Nokuse Education Inc. and director of E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center for the past five years,…

Combating Lionfish? Try Eating Them!

Lionfish are beautiful. Their bodies are covered in stripes, and they have long, delicate fins that are nearly translucent in places. Native to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, they have unfortunately become not only a nuisance, but a major problem affecting reef health across America’s Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines. Lionfish were first identified…

Creating an Artificial Ice Storm

Dr. Lindsey Rustad and her colleagues stood in the middle of a New Hampshire forest rimmed by the White Mountains. The sun had set hours ago, and they were staring up toward the sky, where ice-laden tree limbs creaked in the breeze. The weight of the ice bent the branches, and smaller trees completely hunched…

Warrior Princess, A Warning

When Mindy Budgor, a prospective MBA student, decided to go to Kenya as a volunteer to build a school for the Maasai, she had no idea where this choice would ultimately lead her. As Mindy helped build the school, she discovered that Maasai women were not allowed to become moran, or warriors, a reality that…

Amazonian biodiversity protects health, livelihoods

Striding along an overgrown path in the woods, Micaela Fachín stops beside an ishpingo tree (Amburana cearensis), strokes the bark and squints up the tall, straight trunk. “I planted this years ago,” she says. “I won’t see it grow to maturity, but it will be here for my children or their children.” Her grove of…

The Proliferation of Hope

Environmental destruction seems to be all around us all the time: Poaching, habitat destruction, growing markets for ivory and bushmeat, political strife and increasing human population are reducing wildlife populations for many key species. In the early 90s, it seemed that the rhino had made a successful comeback from the brink of extinction, elephants numbered…